About time I posted an update from Bali! I actually broke my laptop my first day in here- and by first day I mean within hours of landing in Bali after 36 hours flying from US my laptop simply would not turn on – so with some initial tears and “holy crap, I’m screwed” thoughts rolling through my head I was forced to hunt down a local computer repair center recommended by the locals (details at the bottom).
Telephone Conversation with my Computer Technicians
I’m going to jump right into my side of a telephone conversation I had on day two with the technicians fixing my broken laptop – I thought it was an absolute hoot – it’s only my side of the conversation because the other half was in Indonesian…and I don’t speak Indonesian…yet.
– Yes, hello? Hi, English please?
– Do you speak English?
– Um, the person who speaks English please. (side note: I left my computer with a technician fluent in English)
– Could you please get the person who speaks English?
Tons of animated voices and at least six people laughing really hard on the other line.
– Oh ok. No one English?
– My computer, you have, broken yes?
– Laptop fix, yes?
– Yesterday-there-were several-people-who-spoke-English-and-they-told-me-to-call-today-so-I-was-really-hoping-that-you-could-let-me-know-if-my-computer-was-broken-or-if-you-were-able-to-fix-it?
Guffaws. Flat out belly laughing and the same amount of rapid Indonesian spit right back at me. In fact, they were laughing so hard I could all but hear the droplets of tears forming at the edges of their eyes.
– Hmm…Dell yesterday. English person. You fix?
– Ok Yes! DELL! Me Dell! Yay, you remember. Fix, yes?
– Fix? Good? All better?
– Turns on?
– Works now?
– Good or Bad?
– I come and pick up?
– Um, ok, thanks, guess I’ll see you tomorrow!
So why is this so funny…because I hung up not knowing anything knew about my laptop but man were they cracking up on the other side of the phone. I guess it would be like picking up the phone and only hearing someone jabbering gibberish on the other side of the line!
My Takeaways from Fixing My Laptop in Bali
Relax Sans Technology: With my laptop in the shop for at least two days I truly had no choice but to sit back and relax with my book and a cold beer. It was actually an entirely different experience to not process my day through technology by sorting pictures, writing a blog, and working.
Perspective: Best piece of advice I got was “hey, at least you still have pen and paper!” Simplistic, but you know, it hadn’t even occurred to me. Because 75 percent of what I do is internet based, I just plum forgot that I could still jot down ideas and be a bit productive without my IV-line of technology pumping into my system.
Flexibility: Time is elastic in Bali…and pretty much most places outside of the West. This is one of those patience building lessons – if they say to come pick it up in two days…that really meant three.
Negotiate, It’s a Fact of Life: The price I paid was seven times what we agreed. What to do? Negotiate. Since I don’t know what they added to the computer I just paid, but I went into this knowing that as a foreigner I was never going to get the cheapest price.
Learn Some Language!: Maybe the most important was learning just five phrases in Indonesian. In Bali, a smile goes a long way and an attempt at the language can only help, so by the third day, when I went to pick up my laptop I went in knowing just a few words that made all the difference: “good,” “bad” and “thank you very much.” From just those three phrases I pieced together that one of my boards was jelek, or rather bad.
Just Accept and Move On: I really have barely any idea what they did to fix my laptop. And I probably never will. They couldn’t tell me and the English speaking technician never showed back up on the scene. But it works now. Yes, I want to know. It’s frustrating that I don’t know what beyond my “board” was jelek but oh well. What can I do but accept and move on?
I got my computer back completely working yesterday so expect a more some more regular updates as I explore Ubud, Bali…my home for the next few months!
Quick Tips: Computer Repair in Denpasar, Bali
Where: Cyberlink Computer on the fourth floor of the Rimo Computer Center in Denpasar, Bali
How to Get There: Tell your driver Rimo in front of the Ramayana shopping mall.
Tips: Check your receipt and make sure each piece/part you hand them is itemized out and labeled so that you get it back!